"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

PGE Substation Information

Above: Image of existing project area.      Below: Renderings of streetview of project

Above: Image of existing project area.      Below: Renderings of streetview of project

Dear families,

A few parents have recently asked questions about the PGE substation site under the bridge by the Main Campus.. Usually when some people mention an issue, others are thinking about it too, so we wanted to address this for everyone. It has been several years in the making; TIS initially shared information about the project in 2013. Please click here for the original document that details the project, as well as data about EMF readings taken at locations on or around campus.  (Note: The cob house mentioned in the letter was located towards the top of Sherman Street).

Subsequent readings that have been taken are consistent with those mentioned in the letter. Below is additional information, provided by PGE:

PGE carefully determined the location of the new Marquam Substation based on the presence of existing transmission lines and its proximity to the downtown core area. This means that no new overhead power lines are required for this project and all new circuits from the substation to the downtown area will be underground.

Aesthetics and Design Facts

  • Open air facility with City of Portland-approved 12’ wall and landscaping
  • Equipment will be approx. 20-25’ in height, with limited visibility from the street
  • Landscaping to be maintained by PGE, and done in accordance with local permitting requirements
  • SW Baker Street to be paved


The importance of the safety for employees and the public is PGE’s top priority – including all aspects of safety inside and around substations. The facility will be secured and monitored 24/7 by PGE’s system control center for site access, any potential emerging problems with the technology, and overall site safety. PGE does evaluate EMF levels when designing projects like substations. For more information on EMF, you may consider reviewing the National Institute of Health’s “Electric and Magnetic Fields Associated with the Use of Electrical Power.”  

More Information:

Please call PGE at 503-612-3730

As always, please let any of us know if you have any questions, concerns or feedback.